Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


School of Teacher Education and Leadership


Courtney D. Stewart


Max L. Longhurst


Susan A. Turner


As students move from grade level to grade level and onto college, their grades have an impact on the number of opportunities available to students. The competition for entering college and earning a scholarship are at an all-time high and the grades students earn have a direct impact on future opportunities. Grading practices vary by teacher causing students’ grades to mean different things.

Standards-based grading practices focus on removing teacher bias and puts emphasis on the learning students can demonstrate. Students are given assessments to determine learning and are given multiple opportunities to show what they have learned. Emphasis is placed a student’s most current knowledge rather than an average of scores during the grading period.

This study focused on how student learning was impacted when secondary math, science, and language arts teachers use standards-based grading practices in their classrooms. Student learning was measured by term grades and end-of-level SAGE test scores. Results show students who attended a classroom with standards-based grades earned higher GPAs, performed better on the end-of-level test, and had more learning growth over the course of the school year, than their peers who participated in traditional grading classrooms.